Full Programme Announced Glasgow Film Festival

gf guests


Across 12 days, the city-wide celebration of cinema will host 7 world premieres, 102 UK premieres and 49 Scottish premieres

Guests including Sir Michael Palin, Carol Morley, Matt Bomer, Carlos Acosta, Alice Lowe, Simon Amstell and legendary music video director Lance Bangs will attend the 15th annual festival

Six out of the ten nominees for the prestigious Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award are new features directed by women

The full programme of Glasgow Film Festival 2019 has been announced. From 20 February to 3 March, the city’s 15th annual celebration of cinema will host 337 individual screenings, talks and events – showcasing 7 world premieres, 102 UK premieres and 49 Scottish premieres from 54 countries.

Tickets for the full programme go on sale Thursday 24 January, 2019 at 12 noon for GFF members, and on general sale on Monday 28 January, 2019 at 10am.

Full programme and tickets



World Premieres

Glasgow Film Festival is thrilled to be hosting the first big screen outings of seven new features. Many were made right here in Scotland and look set to follow in the success of last year’s world premiere closing gala, the smash-hit BAFTA-winning Scottish documentary Nae Pasaran. World premieres from home-grown talents include: BAFTA-winning director Matt Pinder’s new feature documentary Harry Birrell: Films of Love and War, which plunders the treasure trove archives of Scottish amateur filmmaker Harry Birrell to present one man’s view of the 20th century; debut feature director Marilyn Edmond’s Connect, an ambitious attempt to confront the issue of suicide amongst young men in Scotland, featuring a deeply affecting performance by Kevin GuthrieDo No Harm is director Stephen Bennett’s compelling exploration of the legacy of Scottish-born psychiatrist Dr Ewen Cameron and the experiments that contributed to systems of modern-day torture across the globe; Mackintosh Redux is the painstakingly remastered new version of Murray Grigor’s 1969 film made to complement the Mackintosh Centenary Exhibition, with a brand new score by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; and, Alberta Whittle, the recipient of the 2018/19 Margaret Tait Award will present the first ever screening of her newly-commissioned film between a whisper and a cry. Returning crowd favourite FrightFest will also offer up two spine-tingling world premieres, with Automata, a bold and original work from Scottish auteur Lawrie Brewster and ‘Downton Abbey meets The Evil Dead’ in Jack McHenry’s pitch-perfect Here Comes Hell!


International and European Premieres

Festival favourite Karen Gillan delivers another star turn in the international premiere of wrenching US drama All Creatures Here Below; director Andrew Peat returns to Scotland for the European premiere of Scotch – The Golden Dram, a handsomely crafted documentary charting the story of the Scottish whisky industry through its most famous distillers and ardent enthusi- asts; The Science of Ghosts (from director Niall McCann whose Lost in France documentary had its premiere at GFF17) is an imaginative and humorous riff on the musical biopic featuring Irish singer-songwriter Adrian Crowley, whilst theatre director Simon Sharkey will introduce Run Free, the story of his working in a ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica, teaching young boys parkour and physical theatre over a period of four years for the National Theatre of Scotland, Manifesto Jamaica and the British Council.


Scottish Premieres

49 must-see films make their Scottish debut at this year’s Festival. Scottish premieres include: US stand-up comedian Bo Burnham’s eagerly awaited directorial debut, Eighth Grade; fellow comic Simon Amstell’s feature directorial debut, the fresh and endearing rom-com BenjaminOnly You, charting a beautiful romance that begins on Hogmanay on the streets of Glasgow, featuring rising stars Josh O’Connor and Laia CostaPapi Chulo, the new feature from John Butler (director of GFF17 opening film Handsome Devil) that sees a heartbroken weatherman (played by Magic Mike star Matt Bomer) strike up a friendship with an elderly Mexican labourer; The Merger, starring top Australian stand-up Damian Callinan as a former professional Aussie Rules footballer returning home to help his hapless local team; Prophecy, an unprecedented insight into the mind of acclaimed Scottish artist Peter Howson as he works on his latest masterpiece; and the astonishing immersive documentary about the raw power of water, Aquarela (supported by Creative Scotland), screened on Dolby Atmos at Cineworld for full, jaw-dropping effect.


UK Premieres

GFF will host over 100 UK premieres, making Glasgow audiences the first in the country to see this wide selection of new films. UK Premiere highlights include: Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan in the eerie re-telling of the real-life Flannan Isle mystery, The VanishingStephen Merchant’s solo feature film directorial debut, Fighting With My Family, a warm-hearted true story about wrestling and family bonds starring The Rock and Florence PughYuli, the dazzling, rags-to-riches life of ballet superstar Carlos Acosta, beautifully captured by director Icíar Bollaín and I, Daniel Blake writer Paul LavertyAnnabel Jankel’s Tell It To The Bees starring Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger as two young women falling in love and causing scandal in their 1950s Scottish small town; Glasgow director Robbie Fraser’s Final Ascent, about the life of legendary Scottish mountaineer Hamish MacInnes, featuring testimonies from Sir Michael Palin and Sir Chris BonningtonPatrick Wang’s Altman-esque Midwest epic across two parts, A Bread FactoryEmilio Estevez’s The Public, a moving, thought-provoking, state-of-the-nation drama star- ring Alec Baldwin; two new films starring Dev Patel – Hotel Mumbai, a gripping dramatisation of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, and Michael Winterbottom’s eagerly-awaited thriller The Wedding GuestSacha Polak’s Dirty God, screening fresh from Sundance and featuring astounding newcomer Vicky Knight as a young mother rebuilding her life following an acid attack; She’s Missing, a haunting thriller set in the deserts of the American deep south starring Josh Hartnett; and Tyrel, a jet black comedy and razor-sharp analysis of racial divides in America starring Jason MitchellMichael Cera, and Caleb Landry Jones.

special guests

Stars attending the festival

We’re delighted to welcome a host of famous faces and rising talent to GFF19. Sir Michael Palin will attend the UK premiere of Final Ascent and also discuss his varied and fascinating career in a special live Empire podcast, while Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and The Pastel’s Stephen McRobbie with join Daydream Nation director Lance Bangs for a post-screening Q&A and Magic Mike, American Horror Story and White Collar star Matt Bomer treds the red carpet at the Scottish premiere of Papi Chulo. Other guests include: one of the world’s greatest dancers Carlos Acosta alongside his Yuli director Icíar Bollaín and writer Paul Laverty; stand-up comics-turned directors Bo Burnham and Simon Amstell; actor and disability campaigner Adam Pearson; Irish musician Adrian Crowley; director Carol Morley; actors including Swedish horror icon Christina Lindberg, award-winning Belgian director and actor Bouli Lanners who stars in two Festival titles (Real LoveThe Third Marriage), the star of Netflix’s latest hit Sex Education Connor Swindells; actor Josh O’Connor who stars in Only You; and rising star of Dirty GodVicky Knight. As previously announced, actor-director Alice Lowe will participate in a horror film panel as part of the festival’s Indus- try Programme, with more Industry programme guests to be announced.

audience awards

Audience Award Nominees

The only award handed out at Glasgow Film Festival is one bestowed by our most important guests – the festival audience. The prestigious GFF Audience Award is awarded to a feature by a first or second-time director with previous winners including Lip- stick Under My Burkha and Custody. For 2019 we are delighted that six out of the ten shortlisted films are directed by women. The films are: Marta Bergman’s feature debut about a Romani woman who becomes a mail-order bride, Alone At My WeddingLouis Garrel’s droll French romance A Faithful ManThe Feeling of Being Watched, journalist Assia Boundaoui’s investigation into FBI surveillance in her Arab-American neighbourhood; Float Like a ButterflyCarmel Winters’ powerful and timely drama about a young girl from the Irish roadside camps rising through the boxing ranks; FugueAgnieszka Smoczynska’s gripping thriller about a mother with memory loss; Glasgow-based director Matt Pinder’s Harry Birrell: Films of Love and WarVasan Bala’s irresistible Indian Hindi comedy The Man Who Feels No Pain about a young man who uses his rare congenital disorder to fight muggers; Soheil Beirraghi’s thought-provoking, high stakes drama Permission, about everyday injustices faced by women in Iran; Claire Burgers’ Real Love, a tender family drama about a single father of two who becomes involved in community theatre; and, Ash Mayfair’s directorial debut The Third Wife, set in 19th century Vietnam. The Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award 2019 is sponsored by Benihana.

Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said: “Over the years at GFF we have excelled with our Special Events and this year is no exception. The Blair Witch Project at a Secret Location is sure to scare and thrill and don’t forget “The first rule about fight club is: you do not talk about fight club” so you’ll just have to get along and participate… As ever our Sound & Vision strand is filled with music of all types from Classic to Jazz and a brilliant live event hosted by Lost Map records featuring Monoganon and Free Love performing to footage of Eigg filmed by Slow Tree. This heady strand is topped off with films such as Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell starring Elisabeth Moss as a self-destructive rock star and Brady Corbett’s electric Vox Lux. This year our Audience Award – GFF’s only award – features six (out of 10) films that are directed by women with strong and vibrant films telling a variety of stories.”

Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-director, said: “It is a real pleasure to be able to share the programme for Glasgow Film Festival 2019. The festival is peppered with exciting discoveries from around the world that range from action-packed Indian crowd-pleaser The Man Who Feels No Pain to elegant Vietnamese period piece The Third Wife, knockout coming of age tale Float Like a Butterfly from Ireland and the gorgeous Kyrgyzstan musical The Song of the Tree. I can’t wait for audiences to de- light in Louis Garrel’s romantic A Faithful Man, embrace Patrick Wang’s Altman-esque epic A Bread Factory and shudder at The Vanishing with Peter Mullan and Gerard Butler. The cherry on the cake is our tribute to the great Elaine May that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.”

Tickets go on sale to GFF members and GFT CineCard holders from 12noon on 24 January, and then on general sale from 10am on 28 January. Book online at glasgowfilm.org/festival.

Modern Families

Budding junior film fans always have lots to enjoy at Glasgow Film Festival – and all at pocket money prices. This year, beautiful Brazilian animation Tito and the Birds explores how to overcome fear and the importance of friendship, while Minuscule – Mandibles from Far Away (receiving its UK premiere at the festival) tells the charming story of a young ladybird who needs to be rescued after accidentally getting shipped off in a cardboard box. Hands-on screenings include create-your-own-robot at The Iron Giant and make-your-own-slime at a family-friendly 35th anniversary screening of Ghostbusters, deep underground at Argyle Street Arches.

Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction highlights the best documentaries from around the world with films that take us right to the heart of real lives and authentic stories. This year’s crop includes Netizens, in which a group of women dedicate themselves to fighting online harassment; life on a women’s football team in post-revolution Libya in Freedom Fields; and Alex Holmes’ crowd-pleasing Maid- en, following sailor Tracy Edwards and her all-female crew as they face institutional sexism and a media circus in a heart-pound- ing race around the world. The sometimes tragic realities of our cinema heroes are revealed in Making Montgomery Clift, by the legendary Hollywood star’s own nephew, and The Ghost of Peter Sellers, in which director Peter Medak looks back at his disastrous shoot of pirate epic Ghost in the Noonday Sun.

Future Cult Future Cult returns to embrace the weird and wonderful world of cult cinema and celebrate titles old and new. Macoto Tezuka’s long-unseen musical comedy The Legend of the Stardust Brothers opens up the world of 80s J-Pop; nothing is what it seems in Lee Cronin’s terrifying and mysterious Irish indie horror The Hole in the GroundThe Final Girls introduce their hand-picked selection of the best female-made horror shorts in We Are The Weirdos, and audiences can round off their day with a late night Sing-Along screening of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s still bitingly relevant puppet romp Team America: World Police.


GFF’s Pioneer strand is a showcase for global filmmakers at the start of what promise to be glittering careers. Every Pioneer film is a first or second-time feature from someone who possesses the power to make them stand out from the crowd. Among the highlights in this year’s strand are: actor-turned-director Hugh O’Conor’s delightful, irresistible charmer Metal HeartJoe Penna’s nerve-shredding Arctic, with Mads Mikkelsen as a man who must survive in the freezing wilds after his plane crashes; Aleksey Chupov’s and Natalya Merkulova’s thought-provoking contemporary update of a Siberian folk tale The Man Who Sur- prised Everyone; and, Ali Abbasi’s stunning, 2019 Oscar-nominated, one-of-a-kind Border.


The biggest and brightest UK shock event, FrightFest returns to the GFF for its 14th fearful outing. This year’s FrightFest opens with a special screening of Lords of Chaos, which filters adolescent angst through horror movie aesthetics to tell the true story of Norwegian 80s death metal band Mayhem, who took it to extremes with a rampage of arson and murder. Other highlights across the nightmare-packed two days include: Finale, with bad goings-on in a remote Danish petrol station on the night of the European Championships; psychedelic flesh-eating insects terrorising an ageing rock band in Dead Ant.

Window on the World

With films from 54 countries screening at this year’s festival, Window on the World allows audiences to travel to the far corners of the globe from the comfort of their local cinema. Experience a dystopian future in the extraordinary Mexican genre-bender Buy Me A Gun, stop off in Romania to meet the world’s stroppiest teenager in Alice T and feel the intensity of family life on a remote Kazakhstan farm in The RiverAlejandra Marquez Abela’s sophomore feature The Good Girls follows the lives of up- per-class women whose lives teeter on an economic abyss in 1980s Mexico, It Follows director David Robert Mitchell returns with the L.A-set neo-noir Under the Silver Lake starring Andrew Garfield, and contemporary Taiwan is the setting for engrossing and inventive thriller Cities of Last Things.

Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line showcases new territories in artists’ moving image, celebrating new works at the forefront of artistic vision. Long-standing festival partner LUX Scotland bring a collection of Beatrice Gibson’s newest works as well as Thom Andersen’s The Thoughts That Once We Had, whilst Alchemy Film Festival join GFF in presenting the incredible Erased___Ascent of the Invisible and Dark Light, a collection of work from Belgian artist Anouk De ClercqAnnik Leroy’s meditative Tremor – Es ist im- mer Kreig, winner of Best Feature at Frontiera Documentary & Experimental Film Festival, will also premiere, and Jodie Mack’s kinetic and kaleidoscopic The Grand Bizarre brings mundane household patterns to dazzling life in one of the most rhythmic travelogues you’re ever likely to experience.

May Days: The Films of Elaine May

Elaine May has been entertaining audiences for more than 60 years. As a writer, performer and director, her comedy is sharp- edged, effortlessly witty and bitingly satirical. Her improvised sketch work with Mike Nichols in the 1950s and 1960s is the stuff of legend. Her script-writing skills have earned her Oscar nominations. Her painstaking professionalism means that every one of her films is a unique, handcrafted gem. She may have faced tremendous challenges in bringing her vision to the screen but the results are unforgettable. GFF is honoured to pay tribute to Elaine May this year by screening all four of the films she has directed: from the sublime A New Leaf and The Heartbreak Kid to the dramatic intensity of Mikey and Nicky and notorious flop Ishtar, which will get a deserving second chance to win over audiences.

Belgian Cinema: Both Sides Now

A country whose cinematic output has constantly been underrated, despite world class filmmakers from Chantal Akerman to the Dardenne Brothers, this year’s Country Focus reflects the current healthy state of cinema in Belgium. Highlights include the Scottish premiere of Lukas Dhont’s extraordinary, award-winning Girl which has taken the film festival circuit by storm, and stop-motion animated feature This Magnificent Cake!, telling colonial stories from across the Belgian Empire. The festival will be welcoming a host of Belgian directors and actors, and screening some much-loved Belgian classics thanks to the Generous support of the General Representation of the Government of Flanders in the UK and Wallonie-Bruxelles International.

1969: The End of Innocence

GFF’S annual free retrospective is devoted to American cinema from a pivotal year — a mixture of classics and rarities starring (among others) Jane Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Shirley MacLaine and Dustin Hoffman. These 10 films reflect a time when censor- ship laws were relaxed and American filmmakers and studios struggled to grapple with the social changes and political upheavals in a country that saw protests on the street, fierce opposition to the war in Vietnam, Nixon in the White House, the Manson killings, the Stonewall riots and the growing mobilisation of groups pursuing black power and feminism. 1969 saw the arrival of enduring counter-culture classics like Easy RiderButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Best Picture Oscar winner Midnight Cowboy, but it was a year when the old guard was still out in force with John Wayne a Best Actor Oscar winner for True Grit. 1969 was a cinematic year that still resonates with Hollywood’s biggest 21st century talents and one that Quentin Tarantino has chosen as the setting for his upcoming multi-star epic Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, with Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino and Kurt Russell.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes is your chance to peel back the curtain and discover the biggest secrets of the filmmaking world from some of the most talented practitioners in the field. All events are free and suitable for all, from budding professionals to curious film fans. The award-winning composer Matt Dunkley joins us for a round of Anatomy of a Soundtrack, and Creative Media Skills return with an illuminating talk presented by make-up alumni Danny Marie Elias. Stop motion is making huge waves in the in- dustry, and to celebrate we’re hosting Stop Motion – Life Between Frames with a collection of animators from GFF18 Opening Gala Isle of Dogs. Tony Doogan joins us for Outlaw King – Settling the Score, to discuss the creative process of writing and performing the immersive score. We’re delighted to partner with NFTS Scotland, bringing Star Wars costume director Trisha Biggar and award-winning film and TV editor Colin Monie to discuss their crafts.

Full details at GFF

The Hole in the Ground, Glasgow Film Festival
Glasgow Film Festival: Mother's Instinct

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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